Nagorno-Karabakh Republic will be officially renamed Artsakh Republic
STEPANAKERT—A special commission on constitutional reforms for the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, headed by National Assembly Speaker Ashot Ghulyan, unveiled on Tuesday a draft constitution*, which will become the basis for public debate before being put to a vote in a national referendum, reported the parliamentary press service.
Under the proposed new constitution, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic will officially be renamed Artsakh Republic, with its boundaries outlined as “the territory under factual jurisdiction of the Artsakh Republic.”
While unveiling the draft, Ghulyan said that the document had been modified from a previous version and approved by Artsakh President Bako Sahakian.
“Public debates will kick off on November 10 in order to gauge public opinion and comments about the draft, after which it will be submitted to the President of the Republic,” said Ghulyan.
According to the standard operating procedure, the draft will be submitted to the National Assembly upon presidential approval and will become a topic of debate in the legislature.
In July, the Constitutional Reforms Commission published a concept paper, in which it delineated the need for changes to the current constitution, which was adopted in 2010.
“Conditioned by the new realities of public life and new imperatives of security protection and progress of the country, there is a necessity to further improve the legal regulations of constitutional norms. This should contribute to good governance, strengthening the sovereignty of the country, further advancement of democratic processes, adoption of more effective mechanisms that guarantee and protect fundamental human rights and freedoms, introduction of a system of government free from internal inconsistencies, independence of the judicial and local self-government, as well as enhancement of the institutions of direct democracy,” explained the concept paper.
The key changes to the current constitution aim to clearly define the branches of the government, shifting Artsakh into a presidential form of government, from the current power-sharing mechanism between the executive and legislative branches. The new draft also envisions a succinct role for the judiciary and outlines specific terms for local municipal government.
In February, a draft constitution was introduced, which envisioned a parliamentary system of government in Artsakh, which received the support of leading political parties and the president. The draft unveiled Tuesday is a reversal from that course.
*Asbarez will provide the official English version of the draft constitution as soon as it becomes available.